REVERENDS HARRISON & ELVINA MILLER, OUR FOUNDERS
The Miller’s believed that by teaching, training and raising up godly leaders, whole congregations and assemblies will be reached. In this way, the training has a multiple affect. At the Oasis of Love Church, spiritual training through systematic Bible studies is one aspect, but knowing that man is body, soul and spirit, it is also important to train in natural areas as well, such as vocational (bookkeeping, clerical work, computer, audio and video recording, photography, printing, carpentry, landscaping, just to name a few) as well as offering classes in conversation, etiquette and serving. It was their goal to produce strong family units and restore a sense of pride in our country’s godly heritage and traditions.
The Oasis of Love Church was founded by Harrison F. and Elvina E. Miller in 1953. Its original name, Deliverance Temple, was changed in the 1990’s to better reflect the outreach and ministry of the church. The Millers were both raised in the Leigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. He was born in Bethlehem, and she was born and raised in Hamburg, the daughter of immigrant parents from Italy. He was a Methodist and she was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, but both found a new life in Jesus Christ when they were born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Assembly of God Church in Hamburg in 1935. Shortly after being saved, Sister Miller, as she became known around the world, received a definite call to the ministry, specifically to the continent of Africa.
During the early days of the Latter Rain Revival in the late 1940’s, the Millers attended the Evangelical Temple in Reading, PA, where they were ordained and sent out in ministry in 1951.It was an exciting time of new beginnings and new experiences as they conducted tent meetings and healing crusades throughout the country. The first church they pastored was the Bible Deliverance Center in Saxton, PA. During that time Sister Miller began a radio ministry that continued well into the 1990s. Later,the Millers were invited to conduct meetings in the Shippensburg, PA area and, before long, God directed them to build Deliverance Temple. The building was completed and dedicated in 1954.
Training the Next Generation
Rev. Harrison F. Miller went home to be with the Lord on October 12, 1974. After 40 years of marriage and approximately 25 years in the ministry together, Sister Miller was left alone to carry on a work they began together. With a church full of new babes in Christ, Rev. Miller needed much grace and help from the Lord to mother them. It wasn’t always easy, but God used her to train an army of young people, who today are the leaders at The Oasis of Love Churches. Over the next 30 or more years, branches of the Oasis of Love Church were opened in various locations in Pennsylvania.
On April 8, 1989, Rev. Elvina E. Miller was honored with the meritorious degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Trinity College of Ministerial Arts in Imo State, Nigeria, West Africa. She was awarded the degree by the late Rev. Dr. Macaulay Nwulu. Having ministered to thousands, both at home and abroad, Rev. Miller’s efforts and labors of love did not go unnoticed by God, nor by man. On May 30th 1999, a convocation of bishops, overseers, local and international presbyters were convened under the general oversight of the Right Reverand Bishop Giacinto R. Beninate and the Right Reverend Dr. John Amato for the purpose of affirming and consecrating Dr. Elvina E. Miller as Bishop in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout her ministry, Sister Miller traveled extensively doing mission work. Her first missionary trip was to Gold Coast (now Ghana) and Nigeria in 1953. In the small town of Prampram, Sister Miller fell into the hands of the Fetish priests who incited the people to stone her. As they picked up stones, a large woman came forth and released her from their clutches. She spoke to the people, explaining why this woman was sent to them by God. No one knew where the woman had come from, nor did they ever find her afterward. All Rev. Miller knew is that she was safe in the arms of God and believes that God sent an angel to rescue her.
In 1955, Rev. Miller again took another mission trip, this time to Cuba. For three years, she and her husband lived in this beautiful Caribbean country, preaching from Havana to Guantanamo during the years of Castro’s revolution. When Fidel Castro overthrew the government, the Millers were forced to leave on the last available boat to freedom. The experience of seeing Cuba fall to Communism taught her many things. She took to the radio, long before the time of Rush Limbaugh and others, to warn Americans about the dangers of things happening right here in the United States.
In addition Pastor Miller traveled extensively sharing the Gospel and building up churches and ministries throughout the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Australia, Canada and the United States.Other trips took her to Japan and China and places in Europe.